Do you think Maynard would have a problem if I said a rosary of Tool songs?
Not everyone comes to God in the same way. Not everyone comes to God. Not everyone has the same conception of God. All that is perfectly fine; it is not my place to tell anyone else how or what to believe. It has been my experience, though, that most people have one thing that speaks to them louder than everything else. I’m sure plenty of Christians will argue that they find God in their Bibles, Jews in their Torahs, Muslims in their Qurans, etc. When I encounter such people, I generally think, “You wouldn’t know God if He jumped up & bit you in the ass.”
Now, I’m not saying that you can’t find God in the Bible. I’m just saying that if that is the one place you find Him, then maybe you don’t know what He really looks like. People sometimes say they will find God in nature, in animals, in silence, in water, etc. When I look, I will find Him in all these places and more. You see, I’ve got this God that’s all powerful and He can find me no matter where I try to hide from Him.
This weekend, I got a chance to sit in on a Divine Mercy Chaplet with some friends. I am completely NOT Catholic for a number of reasons and I have no desire, whatsoever, to convert. I have found some beauty and logic to some of their rituals, though, and the rosary is one that intrigues me. I find it a useful tool for an area of my spirituality where I struggle – meditation.
As I listened to the rise and fall of the voices around me singing this prayer, my mind did what it normally does during meditation… it ran off & started thinking about all sorts of crap. I began plucking out the individual notes and the sweet sadness, longing and joy in the music. I questioned whether, after so many repetitions, the words still made sense to these women. Even reading these words carefully on paper, I struggle with their meaning. The emotion running through the song spoke to me, though, in a way the prayer alone would never be able to.
This brought me back to early sobriety. In those first few months, I saw God everywhere because I knew He was the only way I was going to live through this. That Dude knows me so well that He knew how music has always played a big role in my life. He even knew the kind of music that I was best able to identify with at this difficult time. Yeah, I tried listening to Christian praise music, but it just wasn’t happening. Nope. God said, “Hey, you like Tool, right?” Well, yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve heard it, but I can probably find my old copy of Aenima somewhere. Wouldn’t ya know, there He was! Here among the emotional pleas of a man struggling to overcome the pain of his youth, my God was talking to me. Songs like “H.”, “Jimmy”, and especially “Forty Six & 2” resonated in me and reflected my own battles and victories over my addiction. Continuing through his catalogue, I was able to follow Maynard’s emotional recovery from his past as I walked through my own emotional stages of recovery.
Today, as always in my past, my life has a soundtrack that will reflect my mood and speak to me in whatever place I find myself. Sometimes I do have the dark, empty Mad Season days; sometimes it’s the anger and betrayal of Stone Sour or Red Hot Chili Pepper’s joyful songs of gratitude. Most days now I have the peace and tranquility of Puscifer, the introspection of Mumford and Sons or the lazy fun of Kings of Leon. Today, God tells me I don’t have to strive. I don’t have to push for more and I’m not doing everything wrong. Today, God tells me that just being me is enough. As “Monsoons” plays, I picture myself lying on a blanket in the grass with the warm sun on my face. This is love. God is love.